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Aspiring Young Filmmakers Take Part In Prestigious BFI Film Academy Programme In Belfast
19 Apr 2018 : Nathan Griffin
A group of 21 talented young filmmakers, aged 16-19 years old from Northern Ireland, were recently selected from a wide pool of applicants and awarded a place on the prestigious BFI (British Film Institute) Film Academy programme, delivered locally by Cinemagic.

The programme equips local young filmmakers, who are passionate about film, with the knowledge, skills, insight, confidence and practical training to help lay strong foundations for their pursuit of a career in the film industry. 

The 21 participants attended masterclasses and Q&A sessions in Belfast on various film disciplines from the history of film, right through to story development, directing, producing, film criticism, film finance and marketing and distribution. 

The young people also met with a range of award-winning industry professionals including Cinematographer Seamus Mc Garvey,  Director Michael Lennox, Costume Designer Annie Symons, Make-up Artist Christine Blundell, Director Aisling Walsh,  Assistant Director Darren Fee, Production Manager Leon Mc Geown-Fee,  Producer Chris Martin, Andy Dougan from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; Alison Crinion from Irish Industry Trust for IP Awareness; filmmaker Keith O’Grady, Peter Weil; and Colin Browne from Film Equipment Hire Ireland.

In addition to the industry and skills training and access to top professionals, the young filmmaking trainees worked in groups to make two short films, which they showcased to industry guests and an invited audience on the last day of the Academy.

Speaking about the programme, Joan Burney Keatings MBE, Cinemagic chief executive,, congratulated the young filmmakers:

“This wonderful initiative provides yet another opportunity for Cinemagic to inspire and develop a new generation of film industry talent from Northern Ireland. We are delighted that such a diverse group of young people got involved as this ensured it was a richer peer-to-peer learning experience. The young people’s dedication and enthusiasm is commendable and I congratulate each and every one of them on their achievements.”

The BFI Film Academy aims to help train and inspire the next generation of filmmakers. It supports young people aged 16 to 19 years old to develop the commercial and cultural knowledge and skills to help make a career in film a reality. The Academy also offers training for every film industry role, from writing and directing through to production, sound design, editing and camera, and provides learning around film history and cinematic storytelling to inspire an appreciation of film culture in the round.

A number of former Northern Ireland participants of the BFI Film Academy programme have gone on to be involved in a series of exciting film and TV projects since their involvement and several of the outstanding students have been awarded a place at the prestigious NFTS (National Film and Television School) and Scottish Residential courses.

The BFI Film Academy programme is delivered by Cinemagic in Northern Ireland. Cinemagic is a multi-award winning charity that embraces the magic of film and television to educate, motivate and inspire young people.

Established almost 30 years ago, Cinemagic has developed a worldwide reputation for excellence in children’s programming and now engages with over 40,000 young people annually in Belfast, Dublin, London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles.

Cinemagic caters for all young people aged under 25 with all levels of interest in film, to watch, learn and enjoy, or to find out more about a career in the industry. It strongly believes that the medium of film is a vital tool in personal and social development, stimulating discussion among young people about the world around them.




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